May 20th, 2007 by David Weinberger
Nick Carr writes a long disagreement with the book, based on my statement that the track is the “natural unit” of music. (Nick does not comment on anything beyond that sentence on page 9.)
Nick is correct. Tracks are clearly not “natural.” The book overall is an argument against there being a natural units and a natural organization of them. I meant the “natural” to be lightly ironic in this case. And he is of course also right that there is value in how albums arrange tracks so that the whole is more than the parts. [Added a few hours later:] But, in the third order of order, we can get not only the Beatles’ way of arranging their White Album, we can also get George Martin’s remix, how Ringo wanted it played , the revelatory way some unknown kid in Akron mixes it up with the Beach Boys, and the original order minus that one song we can’t stand (AKA “Revolution #9″). The miscellaneous isn’t about there being no order. It is about the potential for many, many orders.
So, I don’t agree with the characterization of the argument of the book he derives from this one phrase. I’m disappointed that Nick found this sentence to be a “stopper.”